Chapter 36 – Nanchang Fried Beehoon (1)

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

It turned out that Cinnabar Fruit was not supposed to be eaten this way. The best way to consume this miracle fruit was to first refine it into medicinal powder and to take it with other medicinal herbs for the best effect.

However, eating it just as it is like what Shiyu did was not completely ineffective.

“When you first ate it, there will be some effects, of course, but you won’t see any immediate result. Most people who had taken the Cinnabar Fruit would cultivate their body immediately afterwards before eating some complementary medicinal herbs in order to achieve the best effect.”

San Pang wave his head knowledgeably as he lectured, Shiyu listened earnestly till the end, before saying. “I understand, so this means I have to train my body now?”

“That’s the only thing you can do now.” San Pang spread out his hands.

Shiyu did not bother asking San Pang where he got his knowledge from. Training the body simply meant doing some exercise that exhausted the body and pushes it to its limit. With this, her problem was pretty much solved.

After some exercising she flopped down for a good night’s rest. Her next project, once the Cinnabar Fruit issue was solved, was to tour around the Imperial Capital. This Capital was just too big, but it seemed well planned somehow. Standing at the main street, she could see see a faint image of the large fancy building shrouded behind mist and clouds — it was the Imperial Palace.

Aside from the Imperial Palace, there were plenty of other famous buildings within the capital. The scenery was also quite beautiful, fields of flowers and blossoming trees spread their spring fragrance everywhere. The balance between developed buildings and landscaped gardens made it truly beautiful.

After a few days of roaming around and shopping, Shiyu felt herself falling in love with this city. There was a strong cultural identity here that she could really relate to.

As she strolled along the Star Washing River, she came across a large building. It was none other than the famous Imperial College. As a city that values cultivation, strength and power, the centre of political and cultural development naturally included this very important school. It was rumoured that the enrolment rate was particularly demanding and only the best in terms of strength and talent would be accepted.

Of course, it was another matter if one was a member of the aristocracy[1].

The entrance to the Imperial College was huge. A three storey tall boulder with the words ‘Imperial College’ inscribed on it was placed in front of the entrance. It was said that the words were written by the most powerful person within the Dong Wu Empire. Though who it was exactly Shiyu didn’t actually know.

A peek inside showed lush green gardens filled with vision obstructing plants, clearly planted there to prevent outsiders from looking in. From time to time, college students dressed in black college gowns would passed through the gates.

Even if it was impossible to look inside, Shiyu also knew that there was a very interesting and magnificent world behind the gate. Without mentioning Lin Fan who would enrolled later, there were plenty of geniuses who were much more powerful than Shiyu’s current strength.

After standing around for awhile in front of those imposing gates, Shiyu pinched the mouth of a loudly protesting San Pang, and left.

The old man who served as the college’s gatekeeper looked at Shiyu’s departing figure and felt a little curious. There were plenty of young people who came to gawk at the Imperial College everyday, all of them staring past the gates with yearning eyes. However, why was this girl’s eyes so flat and expressionless?

However, this was just a fleeting impression of his and he soon forgot about it, until later when the real shocker set in.

A few days after he first caught glimpse of that expressionless face, he saw the girl again. This time, she came with a handcart coming to a stop by the river, right in front the Imperial College’s entrance. Once there, she started to unload her stuff and, wait, was she setting up shop there?!

Thanks to the College’s impressive martial reputation, no commoner would actually dared to set up a stall here. However, it’s not like there were no merchant hanging about the fringes of the college. With so many people living, learning and working within the College, the business opportunity here was immense. Lining the road leading up to the entrance were two rows of shops set up by merchants. However, none of the shopkeepers were allowed put up anything that would ruin the dignified appearance of the College.

Just how daring was this little brat?

The old man guarding the gate thought about it for a moment, and decided to chase this eyesore away.

Shiyu was very calmed when faced with this command to get away. With a perfectly calm voice, she said, “Oh? So I can’t sell things here?”

“Of course not!” If any random person could just set up stalls anywhere, wouldn’t this place just turn into a vegetable market?

“Ok, I’ll just move away.” She sounded perfectly agreeable, not a shred of confrontation in her voice.

And she did moved away, about a few hundred meters away. She was still visible from the entrance, if one were to crane their necks and squint their eyes, but was not technically in front of the College any more.

Rice cost a lot more at the Imperial Capital, so food prices were on another level compared to Qing Shan City where an ordinary family could survive of just 10 silver teals for half a year. In contrast, the same amount would disappear after a lunch outside. While she did not lack money, it’s not like she had endless amount of it. Moreover, if she encountered any Fire Seed or Lightning Seed in the future, she would need money. So it was a good idea to do her best to earn as much as she could whenever possible.

Though it was a little shameful, she really wanted to enter the Imperial College as soon as possible, and this was the best way to catch attention. The reason was simple, according to San Pang, there’s a Lightning Seed within the College.

As she efficiently set up her stall, Shiyu thought about the effort she’d spent thinking up a good plan of attack. Naturally, she’ll go with something edible, it can’t be anything too complicated on the one hand, but had to be unique enough on the other. There were plenty of basic food could be sold from food stalls, but Shiyu’s research showed that while there were plenty of dishes featuring wheat noodles and rice as the main carbohydrates, she hadn’t seen anything resembling beehoon or rice vermicelli[2].

As a southerner, Shiyu was not really fond of noodle dishes. However, she had formed a special liking towards Nanchang rice noodles. Whether served in soups or stir fried, it was all very light and delicious. It was especially delicious with Crock Pot Soups[3].

However, since she was the only person looking after this stall, it would probably be better to just forget about the Crock Pot Soup for now. As for the rice vermicelli, she knew how to make them and had spent the last few days experimenting with seasoning and other ingredients before finally achieving the flavour she wanted.

Beehoon or rice vermicelli is made from rice, which is firmer and has a more refreshing taste compared to regular wheat noodles. That is not to say that rice noodles are better than wheat noodles, it depended entirely upon one’s personal taste.

Beehoon could be cooked in one of three ways, as mentioned before, the first is stir frying, the second is a sauce mixed, and third a soup based method. The sauce mixed method is the easiest and fastest, it only took a couple minutes to cook and mix up a bowl. Stir frying would take a little more time, but the flavour from a heated wok would improve the flavour quite a bit.

Therefore, after weighing the pros and cons, Shiyu settled on the first method.

Now that a new stall had appeared at the edge of the Star Washing River, more than a few eyes were attracted to it. Since there had never been any stalls here before, quite a few people came here out of curiosity. Moreover the stall owner was a clear eyed girl dressed in narrow sleeved blouse and apron. She looked at her potential customers with a calm and slightly distracted expression.

Finally, someone broke into Shiyu’s daydreaming. “Store owner, what are you selling here?”

“Stir Fried Beehoon, 10 silver teal for 1.” Shiyu smiled at him with her eyes curved in narrow crescents. This little boy in front of her somehow reminded her of Xiao Qi back in Qing Shan City. Vaguely, she wondered how that girl was doing now.

“Stir Fried Beehoon?” This little boy did not seemed to have any money sense, he immediately hand over a banknote and said cheerfully. “Give me one.”

 

 

[1] I guess that’s how an idiot troupe could form…

[2] Rice vermicelli or beehoon is made from rice flour, delicious!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_vermicelli

[3] Crock pot soup – Soups cooked in small pots, stacked inside a giant pot that is heated from the inside with a charcoal or placed in special ovens where the pots come into contact with charcoal fire.

It’s a Nanchang speciality. The soup itself could be anything, the key point of the dish is the cooking and heating method, which is about 8 hours of hot fire cooking, followed by 6 hours of low fire steaming.

Here are some youtube videos of the soups, the first one is a fairly upgraded version, and the second one much more traditional. Oooh, I want to try some!!

 

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